By embedding facilitators in organisations that represent the interests of larger networks of on-ground land managers, we’re ensuring that research projects are co-designed through direct partnerships with key research users. Having facilitators who are employed outside of the hub’s research providers has proven to be an effective way of building trust in the relevance of the hub and establishing research ‘champions’ outside of universities and government organisations.
The hub employs part-time research facilitators at NRM Regions Australia and the Indigenous Desert Alliance (IDA). They have held workshops and meetings with members of their respective stakeholder organisations and at their national conferences. Their research facilitation is ensuring that the hub’s projects are developed in response to user needs and feature ongoing collaboration and knowledge sharing.
Dr Alexandra Knight is the hub’s research co-design facilitator at NRM Regions Australia, the representative group for Australia’s 54 natural resource management (NRM) regions. She brings to her facilitator role an understanding of the needs of both researchers and on-ground land managers. Alex has held forums with participants from NRM regions to develop a list of priority research needs. She’s held webinars to introduce the hub and key researchers to the NRM community, and facilitated project meetings between researchers and NRM groups. She’s facilitated information-sharing sessions with hub researchers and given joint presentations on the hub and its co-design process with Hub Leader, Michael Douglas. Her facilitation has helped develop hub projects in response to the needs of NRM groups and she’s establishing innovative mechanisms to ensure ongoing collaboration and knowledge sharing between the hub and the NRM community.
Dr Alex Knight (left) facilitating a question-and-answer panel at the 2022 National NRM Knowledge Conference in Margaret River, WA. Photo: Kate Forrest.
Dr Rachel Paltridge is the hub’s research facilitator at IDA, an organisation that connects desert ranger groups. Rachel hit the ground running with her knowledge of the research needs of Indigenous land managers and her large network of collaborators through her role as a threatened species ecologist at IDA. She held workshops and meetings with rangers, which led to the development of one of the hub’s largest investments to date – the Research to support the management of priority desert threatened species project. The project is now rolling out successfully, has attracted a great deal of media attention, and is forging new partnerships with hub partners and the ranger groups that make up the IDA.
Dr Rachel Paltridge in the field during the 2022 Indigenous Desert Alliance Conference at Yulara in the Northern Territory. Photo: Michael Douglas.
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